Talk about low-tech solutions to high-tech problems. The world is very keen on virtual reality, as was shown by Facebook’s recent purchase of Oculus Rift, the company with the most promising consumer VR tech at the moment, for a very large sum in past months. Google may have just scooped them though, by unveiling a cardboard virtual reality headset that turns the average smartphone into high-tech headwear with the help of an app.

Simply dubbed Cardboard, prospective users can nab the design files from the official website in order to fold and build their own headset. Once that’s been done, or once someone has purchased a ready-made option, all that is needed is a smartphone, which fits into the Cardboard headpiece in front of the user’s eyes.

The corresponding app that goes along with it gives users a very low cost (for a given value of low, smartphones can be pricey) virtual reality experience. At the moment the Cardboard app will allow users to take a flyover tour of various places using Google Earth, a virtual stroll with Google’s Street View or a big-screen YouTube experience.

There’s also an animated story and a few interactive objects and photos to experience. Google is opening up Cardboard to developers, so expect to see some more options appearing in future.

Source: Google 1, 2

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